President Shimon Peres and Health Minister Yael German visited a Tipat Chalav children's center in Jerusalem where the new Two Drops program has been initiated. The nationwide program has been instituted to give every Israeli child born after 2004 two drops of a polio vaccine.
President Peres revealed during the visit that one of his own children suffered from polio. "My wife Sonya and I were at his bedside when he was feverish and shivering in pain for three days and three nights," the President related. "For a year and a half my son was paralyzed in his lower body. Luckily, after many months of rehabilitation, he returned to health and is today is alive and well," he said.
The president urged all Israeli parents to visit their local Tipat Chalav center and obtain the polio vaccine. "It is within your power to prevented the suffering of your children," Peres said.
A wild strain of the crippling disease was discovered in the south. There are theories that non-Israelis brought in the disease from beyond the southern border.
The vaccine was first developed by Jewish-American doctor Jonas Salk in the early 1950s.